Northmont linebacker Bland adds charge to defense


Northmont senior middle linebacker Dante Bland is back at Northmont and producing.

Bland, who played for the T-Bolts as a freshman and sophomore, attended Jefferson last year. Back in green and gold, Bland is an imposing middle linebacker and a hefty one.

The T-Bolts’ leading tackler with 48 stops, Bland (6-foot-1, 272 pounds) holds an offer from Division II Ferris State. D-I offers may be coming.

Illinois has been in contact, as has Clemson, which is where Bland’s mother went. Other interested schools include Toledo and Bowling Green. Bland is planning trips soon to Western Kentucky and Illinois.

Lightning strikes twice: Another Northmont player that could net his first D-I offer soon is senior wide receiver/defensive back Isaiah Williams (6-3, 187).

Purdue — and specifically assistant coach and former Wayne and Ohio State grad Marcus Freeman — have been showing strong interest. If and when Purdue pulls the trigger, look for several other schools to follow suit.

Williams has 32 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception this season.

Bowling ball: Last year, Beavercreek’s leading rusher was then-junior Michael Berry, who had 705 yards in 10 games. Berry, a senior, is headed to Toledo to play linebacker.

The lingering question is where Creek’s leading rusher this year will land. Senior running back Allen Lawrence (5-9, 240) already has 702 rushing yards (and eight touchdowns) in six games. Lawrence’s height may limit D-I offers, but his build and production in the GWOC (conference’s third-leading rusher) will earn him opportunities at some level.

Junior mint: Springboro’s D.L. Knock (5-10, 185) is starting to make a name for himself. A versatile returner and wide receiver, Knock has been hot the last four weeks, catching 17 passes (nine for touchdowns). He also owns a punt return for a touchdown this year and has 10 receiving touchdowns overall. Those numbers — and Knock’s athleticism — will make him attractive moving forward. He also plays basketball and is a standout hurdler in track and field.

Join the club: Another Trotwood-Madison Ram has earned a D-I offer. This time its senior offensive lineman John Lewis (6-4, 313). Toledo offered Lewis last week. The Rockets join a list that also includes Eastern Kentucky, Hampton and Benedict (S.C.).

Two more: Troy senior tight end/defensive end Seth Overla (6-4, 220) picked up two new offers from Elon (N.C.) and Austin Peay. Overla already had offers from Princeton and Cornell. In five games, Overla has 20 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception. He’s also caught two passes for 22 yards.


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